How the Camel Got His Hump

Close Reading Passage Available in Raz-Plus and Reading A-Z

Raz-Plus and Reading A-Z offer projectable or printable close reading passages, such as How the Camel Got His Hump, an informational (nonfiction) passage with 250 words, Level S (Grade 3), and Lexile 560L.

How the Camel Got His Hump

In the great desert at the beginning of time, all animals worked for humans—all except for Camel. When anyone spoke to him, he simply responded with a "humph."

"Come trot with us," Horse said on Monday.

"Humph!" said Camel.

"Come fetch with us," Dog said on Tuesday.

"Humph!" said Camel.

"Come plow with us," Ox said on Wednesday.

"Humph!" said Camel.

On Thursday, the humans called Horse, Dog, and Ox together. "I'm very sorry," said the humans. "Camel won't work. You must all work more to make up for it."

The three were angry. They went to the genie who ruled over the desert.

"I'll see what I can do," the genie said.

The genie went to Camel. "The others tell me you won't work," he said.

"Humph!" said Camel.

"They have extra work because of your laziness," the genie added.

"Humph! said Camel.

"I wouldn't say that again if I were you," the genie warned.

"Humph!" said Camel, and as soon as the word left his mouth, his back began to swell up into a great big hump.

"You have brought this hump upon yourself with all your humph-ing," the genie said. "Since you missed days of work, your hump will help you work for days without stopping to eat or drink."

From that day on, Camel had a hump, and so did all camels after him.

Camel worked with the others, but he never quite caught up, and he never learned to behave. No camel ever would.

In How the Camel Got His Hump,the text is structured as close reading, with the purpose of developing critical skills to help students uncover the deeper meaning of a text and connect new information to existing knowledge and experience. A Question Guide accompanies each Close Read Passage, designed to guide readers through repeated readings of the passage with strategic questions that facilitate meaningful discussion.

How the Camel Got His Hump

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